Catholic Diocese of Jalingo provides succor to IDPs
By Christiana Babayo
The Catholic Diocese of Jalingo last Monday donated bags of grain to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who are victims of the recent resurgence of killings by armed herdsmen in Bali Local Government Area of Taraba state to assuage hunger in their camp.
Presenting the bags of grain to the victims at St Paul’s Parish House Bali, the Catholic Bishop of Jalingo diocese, Most Rev Dr. Charles Hammawa stated that the gesture was to better the plight of the people who were obviously going through a rough patch as a result of the resurgence.
The Bishop who was represented by the diocesan Coordinator of the Justice Development and Peace Commission/Caritas, (JDPC) of the Diocese, Rev. Fr. Stephen Bakari, regretted that many people have had to suffer so much for no just cause.
The clergyman urged the people to preoccupy their hearts with love rather than hate for their assailants.
“These are clearly not the best of times for us as a nation and especially as rural farmers here in Bali Local Government Area. Given the amount of pains, losses and sufferings most of you are going through, I know it may be very difficult to console you. As a Church our major concern is to relief your pains to the barest minimum and urge you to allow the love of Christ to reign in your hearts.
“Most of you are terribly wounded. You need to flush out hatred and anger from your hearts for your healing to be quick. Let me use this opportunity to call on the government to do the needful to end these senseless killings.
“This situation is already creating a very bleak future for all of us. Food security is under serious threats. The bonds that hold us together are continuously broken thereby making our differences dangerously more pronounced. May peace of the risen Lord reign in your hearts”. He lamented.
While receiving the Bishop’s entourage, the Parish Priest of St Paul’s Bali, Very Rev Fr. Augustine Agbaru, appreciated the team and applauded Bishop Hammawa for the quick and sensitive intervention.
According to him, “this is not the first time the Bishop is intervening in such situations. He has been doing this time without number and we are very grateful”.
Rev. Agbaru prayed that God should bless the Bishop so that he would continue to do the good things especially that the situation as it stands is a dicey one.
The Rev. Father who wondered when the situation would come to an end appealed to the government of Taraba State to expedite actions towards ending the ugly and unfortunate situation.
“We are becoming disturbed because the situation is becoming intriguing and we don’t even know where and when it will rear its ugly head. We live in unpredictable times and we pray that God will also intervene in the matter”. He lamented.
One of the IDPs who identified herself as Mrs. Rosaline, a mother of seven expressed joy over the gesture of the Catholic Diocese stating that it was a timely intervention as it would it would help to assuage hunger in the camp.
Mr. Joseph Deche, the leader of the IDPs who received the succor on behalf of the IDPs described the gesture as a gracious one.
‘We really appreciate the kindness of the Bishop, how he always helps us in times like this. We also appreciate the JDPC for their efforts and support. It is our prayer that the Almighty God will reward you all abundantly and bless your efforts. We also want to very specially appreciate the Parish Priest, Very Rev Fr Augustine for being there for us at all times’. He said.